Thursday, January 17, 2008

An Ode to Winter Running (and Dollar Store Hats)

Me and winter running. Yeah, it's a love-hate relationship. I have been focusing a lot on what I hate:

- The treadmill

- Getting out the door in the damp dark coldness

- The skimpy daylight

- The diminishing availabilty of nice running surfaces: super sloppy, icy or completely snow covered trails particularly

- The diminishing availability of crappy running surfaces: as the snow increases even the sidewalks and berms start disappearing

We all know about those things. But there are some nice things about it too--really! And since there's no use fighting it, here are all my reasons for getting excited about winter running, even here in the lake-effect snow capital of the universe.

- Making the first footprints in newly fallen snow

- The quietness

- Feeling like a total badass for getting out there and putting in the run in a full-on nasty blizzard (right, Daisy

- Seeing the snow twinkle on a sunny day

- Getting to wear your dollar store blue polyester knit hat and wear it proud

- Running by a fitness jogger wearing a parka, ski mask, and fleece tights in your shorts, long sleeve top and cheap gloves (blue hat optional)

- Worrying before the run that it's going to suck only to finish the run feeling like it was actually really nice

- Eating a big stack of homemade pancakes with real maple syrup and a hot cup of coffee after a long run in the cold

- And of course not having to worry about heat stroke is nice too and I suppose it all makes the sweltering summer seem like a nice change of pace

So, sure it's dark and damp and cold, but duh that's the winter! And soon enough you'll be complaining how damn hot it is out there. So, lace up your shoes, put on your dollar store hats and get out there and enjoy some of that white stuff!

**I am imploring myself just as much as you, don't worry!


Jim said...

Hi Salty,

So sorry for being AWOL fromthe blogosphere for so long. My body is onthe mend and I'm exercisng again. (It looks like what was ailing me was a nasty yeast infection...results still pending, but treatment for it is working)

Speaking of witer, I'm heading home to Vermont this weekend for some XC skiing. I'm sooo excitied. I'm disappointed that I won't be doing the 25K ski race on Feb. 9, but hopefully I've gained a deeper understanding of my body and how to avoid such physical collapses in the future.

Hope all is well (Mrs?) Salty. (Lots of bloggage to read...Has the wedding happened yet?)


Joseph P. Wood said...


The pancakes thing is so absolutely spot on. It's fun to eat pancakes post run, as they fill the tummy just right and make you not want to make fall over post run.

Of course, I only get the icy thing mostly when I'm in St. Louis, though Tuscaloosa has had some sleet from time to time.

Mindi said...

Some of my favorite runs have been in snow. Especially when the big fluffy flakes are just starting to fall so you have decent footing for a while. Thanks for reminding us to lighten up on the crap weather. Although I feel like I have not been outside in days. Today I grabbed a sandwich with my husband (only a block away) and it was snowing pretty hard and I was complaining about it messing up my hair (we had a big meet and greet firm function tonight). Sheesh. What a baby I have become! I go from wearing spandex tights in public to fussing about my hair!

Seriously though, nice post. Makes we want some pancakes!! Maybe this weekend we should all have pancakes with coffee and Baileys to celebrate winter! Whaddayathink?

Mindi said...

Oh yeah, and dollar store hats rock. My fave hat this year is a very bright hat I got for $3 at a convenience store in AZ before we braved the grand canyon (it is actually in my profile pic). It is loud and a bit hippy-ish, but I love running in it!! Bring on the cheap winter running hats (as we all know the rest of the gear ain't cheap!!).

kenyarunb said...

I am copying and pasting and printing out your list of positives . . . they made me smile and I need to read them everyday!

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad I don't have to deal with real winter running. We're spoiled out here in Vancouver. :)

E-Speed said...

can't say I've missed the snow this week :) I'll be kicking myself for my two non running days when I get home and have to suit up I am sure!